John Bain, known by his online handle TotalBiscuit, has passed away today after a long battle with cancer. He was 33 years old.

Bain was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2015. Due to this prognosis, he recently announced his retirement from game criticism on the CynicalBrit Reddit board.

The announcement of his passing was made by Bain’s wife over Twitter earlier this evening.

Born in Spennymoor, County Durham, England, Bain was a lifelong gamer. He contributed to video game media for most of his adult life. Prior to 2010, Bain ran a fan radio station for the popular MMO World of Warcraft, which received special acknowledgments from Blizzard Entertainment as well as invites to BlizzCon as early as 2005 to cover the whole event.

Known today as a media personality synonymous with YouTube. He rose to exposure on YouTube over videos on World of WarCraft: Cataclysm in 2010, hoping to earn money through ad revenue to support himself suffering a layoff. He also launched his main blogging website, CynicalBrit.com, for general game news and events.

Bain’s first big break was working as a commentator on StarCraft 2 matches as he rose in popularity. He was widely known for his in-depth critical analysis and popular YouTube shows such as the “WTF Is…?” series. Bain was also an early promoter of independent games and hosted the long-running Co-Optional Podcast. For his efforts, Bain gained nominations and won several awards, including a Shorty Award nod and “Trending Gamer” honors at 2014’s Game Awards.

In his later YouTube career, Bain took up the charge for consumer advocacy and has remained a controversial figure for his brash opinions and critiques of both the gaming industry and gaming culture at large.

In Bain’s final Reddit post, he was optimistic about the future of the Co-Optional Podcast and the CynicalBrit network.

“I fully expect The Co-optional Podcast to go on and I love the thought that once I’m gone, the channels will go on in my absence, hosted by the person who knows me best and has been with me for the better part of my adult life,” he said.

“It’s been a privilege,” he added. “Thank you all for letting me into your life and do something so important as to have an impact on how you spend your hard-earned money.”

Bain is survived by his wife, Genna, and his stepson. Our thoughts and the thoughts of the greater community are with them tonight.


Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.